Clinton, Ashton urge Kosovo and Serbia to Continue with dialogue
The US and EU diplomacy chiefs have urged Kosovo and Serbia to continue talks in order to realise their European destiny.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission and the United States state secretary Hillary Clinton express support for the dialogue for the normalisation of relations between two countries: the EU-facilitated dialogue is in the interest of both sides, its objective is to improve the lives of people, help solve problems and bring Serbia and Kosovo closer to the EU.
Prishtina, Kosovo - DEMOTIX
by Vedat Xhymshiti on Wednesday, 31 October 2012
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are visiting Kosovo's capital Pristina on their Balkan tour.
In a Tuesday’s statement, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) said Kosovo's judiciary "continues to suffer from political interference, inefficiency and a lack of transparency and enforcement".
The EU law and order mission in Kosovo is inefficient and the territory remains plagued by organised crime and corruption, European auditors say. EU help for Kosovo's police and judiciary "has had only modest success", says the Court of Auditors, whose job is to scrutinise EU spending.
Per capita, Kosovo is the biggest recipient of EU aid in the world states the report.
Serbia - which lost control of Kosovo after a war and NATO bombing in 1999 - does not accept its independence.
The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security, Catherine Ashton, said after meetings with Serbian leaders on Tuesday that they did not come to pose ultimatums but to support Serbia on its EU path.
"That's why we strongly support the dialogue," Clinton told reporters referring to the EU-mediated Belgrade-Pristina talks in Brussels.
Ashton said that the future of Serbia lay within the EU, and talks with Serbian leaders were focused on Serbia's future moves in order to achieve that goal.
Clinton's husband, Bill, was US President during NATO's air war against Serbia in 1999, which forced Serbia to relinquish de facto control of the then province Kosovo. Clinton and Ashton come to Pristina after visiting Sarajevo, BIH, and Belgrade, Serbia. The pair will be travelling on to Albania and Croatia. Clinton last visited the Balkans in 2010.
Serbia firmly rejects the independence of its ‘breakaway southern province’ and wants its future status on the agenda of talks. Some 90 states including 22 of the EU's 27 members and the United States recognize Kosovo's declared independence.
The dialogue started in March 11 under strong international pressure and has yielded several agreements aimed at making the daily lives of Kosovo's two million inhabitants, mainly ethnic Albanians with a significant Kosovo Serb minority, easier.
The talks were halted after Serbia held elections in May and Brussels has been stepping up the pressure to re-launch the dialogue.
Serbia is a candidate member of the 17-nation bloc but the EU has made it clear also to Belgrade that it must re-enter the talks and show concrete results before Brussels can agree to start accession talks.